Brill’s New Pauly

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[German version]

(ὀποβάλσαμον/opobálsamon, Latin balsamum, properly balsam sap, or βάλσαμον/bálsamon) was the name of the balsam tree Commiphora opobalsamum, famous for its valuable resin, which was known by the Greeks only from plantations in Syria (at Jericho and En Gedi). In fact, however, the origin was southwestern Arabia and Somalia. Theophrastus describes the plants in Syria (Theophr. H. plant. 9,6,1-4) and the careful extraction of the fragrant resin, which he never knew in a pure state (ibid. 9,1,7). Pliny gives an accoun…

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Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg), “Opobalsamum”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 19 September 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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